In Review: Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge #4

Dok-Ondar and Doctor Aphra loot a world for a Sith artifact and things don't go well.

The covers: A pair of frontpieces that you won’t have to go all the way to Tosche Station to pick up. The Regular cover by Tommy Lee Edwards is another winner. Standing at a bar, Doctor Aphra peers at nearby table to see Dok-Ondar. She obviously has business with the nefarious trader. This is superb. The details in this cantina are fantastic, full of creatures of all kinds. The colors are exceptional. The Variant cover is by Stacey Lee and is an extreme close-up bust shot of Aphra that has her lifting up her goggles with both hands as she smiles knowingly at the reader. She looks a little like Winona Ryder and I really like this. Overall grades: Regular A+ and Variant A

The story: On the outskirts of Black Spire Outpost on Batuu, six First Order stormtroopers receive backup from a trooper sergeant who arrives with a unique speede. He takes down two perps and soon after is ordered to the spaceport to look for three fugitives with death marks ordered by General Hux. The troopers go on the move, not noticing that they missed a third perp. Back in Black Spire, Dok-Ondar is looking at a statue that has particular meaning to him until he’s interrupted by Hondo Ohnaka who tells him “There’s a criminal crew in Black Spire and they’re gunning for you…Real dangerous types…led by a notorious scoundrel named Kendoh. There’s even a big, dumb brute of an Aqualish who…” He’s cut off by Dok, who doesn’t want him discussing such information in the street. As they make their way inside the Ithorian’s business, both are unaware that this “criminal crew” is watching them from one of the camera’s they’ve hid in the building. The pirate and the businessman discuss the Sword of Khashyn. This allows Dok-Ondar to discuss an adventure he was on thirty years earler with Doctor Aphra to procure the blade. This is a fun Indiana Jones tale from Ethan Sacks with plenty of booby traps. In addition to the thrills with death lying in wait in every room, the dialogue from Aphra and her death droid companions, Triple Zero and Bee-Tee-One, is absolutely killer, making me think I’d like to read an Aphra tale crafted by Sacks. Once the flashback has concluded, which does so perfectly, the issue returns to the present with Dok-Ondar revealing a surprising assistant that I really want to see more of. There’s also trouble for the criminal crew on the last page that sets up a major confrontation for this series finale. This is a fun read. My loving Aphra only makes my enjoyment of this issue stronger. Overall grade: A

The art: There are several things in this issue that Will Sliney got to create and he does a great job. The arrival of the ship onto Batuu on the first page is cool and the reveal at the top of Page 2 is perfect. The last stand by the criminals on the same page is well done and I love the enormity of the vehicle that starts 3. However, by all that’s holy, why was a computer blur added? Sliney’s artwork can generate movement sufficiently without this horrible computer assistance to his visuals. It’s nice to see Dok-Ondar get some quiet time on 4 and the character that interrupts this moment looks great when he appears. I love the point of view that starts the fifth page, making the trio looking at the hologram appear sinister. The angle in the first panel on 6 gives this trio a heroic flair. I like that the third panel on the page has no dialogue and the reader has to determine what’s going on. Aphra’s first appearance is typical for her and it’s wonderful. Also neat to see are the death droids behind Dok; if readers are familiar with this duo they will be extremely worried about their proximity to the Ithorian — good use of visuals to create tension. The full-paged splash on 9 is a great way to introduce the location that will be in the majority of this issue. Very alien and very Indiana Jones. The pair of characters accompanying Aphra into this temple look good and I’m really happy to see these aliens again. The action on 12 is good and the reaction from the tall character on 13 is perfect. Also perfect is the slight change in a character’s hand in the bottom two panels. The large panel on 15 reminded me of scenes from Conan the Barbarian comics. The new character on 16 is outstanding, looking somewhat related to a Nexu. The visual that ends 17 is terrific and a great way to check readers to see if they’ve remembered what was shown earlier. The large image on 18 is frightening and the new character on 19 is stellar. I’m on fire to see what Sliney does with this character next month. The final page is almost a full-paged splash and all that’s missing is ominous music. This book looks great. Overall grade: A

The colors: Dono Sánchez-Almara with Protobunker are responsible for the colors in this issue. The greens that open this book instantly create a sense of nature, while the blues and whites bring technology into this environment. I like that the holograms are in the classic blues from the films and that the dialogue from the holograms are in also in the same blue is a welcome addition. The reflective shine coming off the death droids makes them really pop off the page. The tans, yellows, and oranges on 9 are the classic colors to age this location. The energy on 12 is punched up with the burnt orange, making me hear a sizzle even though that sound isn’t on the page. I like how the control panel’s colors at the bottom of 13 are slightly faded to make the characters stand out next to it. The orange-reds in the second panel on 14 are perfection. The blues on the next page add to the age of the large panel. The best coloring of the book is on 18, with harsh oranges intensifying the artwork. Overall grade: A

The letters: Scene settings, dialogue, sounds, yells, an editorial note, Wooro’s speech, Triple Zero’s speech, and whispered text are created by VC’s Travis Lanham. The scene settings aren’t too bad in this issue because the background colors that they sit upon don’t have them blending in with them as they often do. The dialogue is fine, with the yells and screams of characters in a larger, thicker font. The editorial note is the same font as the dialogue, just smaller, though the whispered text isn’t as tiny as this note. Both fonts are small, but still very easy to read. Wooro’s one outburst is neat gobbledygook that’s unreadable, but nevertheless gives him an alien flavor. Triple Zero’s dialogue is in italics, giving him a mechanical tone. Overall grade: A

The final line: Dok-Ondar and Doctor Aphra loot a world for a Sith artifact and things don’t go well. This flashback tale is fun and ties in with events in the present as Kendoh and her crew are closer to finding the location of artifact they want to steal from the Ithorian. The visuals are good and have me wishing that all involved with this issue were currently illustrating Doctor Aphra. This continues to be a fun series to follow. Overall grade: A

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Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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